It’s a miracle!
National Catholic school enrollment increased by 3.8 percent this year, officials said, marking the first hike in parochial students in two decades.
Demand began to mount during the pandemic-impacted 2020-2021 school year, where most Catholic dioceses offered in-person classes while many public schools did not.
Catholic schools added 62,000 kids to their rolls this academic year, according to data from the National Catholic Schools Education Association.
The total parochial population is now 1.68 million kids across the country.
The draw of stable full-time schooling attracted a surge of new applications and students in recent years, local Catholic school administrators told The Post.
“I think some parents were compelled to look elsewhere during this whole ordeal,” a Brooklyn Catholic school principal said. “And in a lot of cases I think they liked what they were seeing.”
City Catholic schools — which enroll roughly 70,000 kids across the boroughs — boosted their registers while traditional public school enrollment fell.
Locally, the Archdiocese of Brooklyn reported a 2.4 percent increase in enrollment this year — the first hike in a decade, officials said.
But Catholic school officials cautioned that future advances are not guaranteed.
“Catholic schools innovated throughout the last two years to meet the needs of their communities,” the National Catholic Educational Association said. “They need to continue to adapt to those needs and use the momentum to retain students and recruit new students in the upcoming years to stabilize or continue to increase enrollment.”
Despite the recent uptick, the number of American Catholic schools is still well below what it once was.
The are currently 5,938 parochial schools across the country — down from 11,000 in 1970.